So I have a Kona JTS that I bought from a guy used, great bike. The thing is, he set it up more as a roadie/commuter, with Ultegra F&R derailleurs, dura-ace crankset, 53/39 chainrings, Shimano R550 wheels, etc.
It's great for the riding I've been doing for the past year (all pavement), but I'm thinking more seriously about getting into doing some trail riding and 'cross next season. I'm concerned about the durability/appropriateness of Ultegra and Dura-ace and road chainrings for (moderate) off-road riding and beginner cross racing.
Is it "okay?" Would it be better for me to invest in other components? I'm already looking at another wheelset at least.
I've also noticed that some people are using mountain bike drivetrain parts on their cross bikes - this is a very noob Q, but are all bikes capable of doing that? Is there an advantage?
2013 Kona Jake, 2008 Kona Major Jake, 2013 Kona Jake the Snake, 1999 Kona Muni Mula, 2012 Ridley Excalibur, 2008 Surly Long Haul Trucker
I've got mostly Ultegra components on my 'cross bike. I haven't had any problems with them. They're kind of pricy to replace if you brake them, but anything cheaper won't be as good. The only thing I'd think about with the components you mentioned is the crankset. You wouldn't use a 53T ring in a cross race. Something like 46-38 would be better, but you could keep the crank and just replace the rings.
A second wheelset is always a good idea.
I would guess that mountain components are marginally more durable than the equivalent road components (i.e. XT vs. Ultegra) but you'd have compatibility issues with anything other than the rear derailluer, and a long cage derailleur is inherently more vulnerable than short cage so that might cancel out the extra durability.
Soma DoubleCross Disc for cross, Motobecane 700HT for cross-country, Monty for trials, IRO Angus for fixed, 83' Gitane Sprint for communting
From what I know, there is no big durability difference between road and mtn components. Almost all pros use road components on their cross bikes.
Go to any bike shop and look at their cross bikes. Probably most if not all their cross bikes are built with road components.
I dont see a problem running Ultegra derailleurs and Dura-Ace crankset except the 53/39 rings
53/39 ratio is a bit high for cross riding. I assume the BCD on the crankset is 130mm, so the smallest ring you can put on their is a 38T, so you can get something like 48/38 or 46/38 chainrings which will work.
Or you can just get a new crankset with a smaller BCD so you can run the more cross specific 36/46.